By Laura Groshans | January 26, 2019 | Student Post
Last Thursday, information guru and SOJC assistant professor, Dave Markowitz spoke to our class about just how much information exists about us online. Let’s just say it was enough to make me want to roll up my sleeves and do some serious social media scrubbing.
Dave had us get in pairs and attempt to guess the answer to personal questions about our partner based on the pages they “like” on Facebook. The exercise left many of us shuddering about the laundry lists of random pages we had liked in middle school fits of boredom. I always knew those “liking sprees” would come back to haunt me, I just didn’t realize it would happen in a 400-level college class.
As if looking at our Facebook likes was not enough to give us nightmares, Dave continued the trend by showing us the website DeeperSense.
DeeperSense is an online platform where you can enter one of your social media handles, and it will generate a personality write-up on you within seconds.
When I submitted my LinkedIn profile to DeeperSense, DeeperSense told me I was “edgy, temperamental and not very considerate of others.” As someone who is going to graduate soon and hopes to get a job, this was a very unnerving moment for me. I immediately began tearing apart my LinkedIn profile to find what could possibly have triggered DeeperSense to say these terrible things about my character.
There was nothing specific on my LinkedIn profile I could trace my alleged “edginess” to, but it was comforting to hear other students in the classroom were also getting roasted by DeeperSense. Dave explained that sites like DeeperSense are not perfect and the personality write-ups are created through algorithms that are intended to make the hiring process easier on employers. The goal is to cut down the amount of time that goes into investigating the social media profiles of each individual applicant.
However, as artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, sites such as DeeperSense will become increasingly accurate and representative of what our posts say about our character.
Ted Talk by comedian Chuck Nice, covers some of the unintended consequences of social media and his predictions for what artificial intelligence could mean for society.
“Steven Hawking, Elon Musk and Bill Gates have all gone on record expressing grave reservations about artificial intelligence. That’s like Jesus, Moses and Mohammed coming together and being like ‘Guys! Guys! Here’s something we can ALL believe in!’…You might want to go with that. That’s all I’m sayin’.”-Chuck Nice
It can be difficult to gauge how much of your social media content should be personal and how much should be professional. There is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all answer to this, either. As media professionals, we should aim to authentically represent our personal brands without posting horribly offensive content in the process.